In a move that involves a heightened level of secrecy and security, HBO has announced that it will not be releasing any advance episodes of the Emmy-winning series to the press. Hollywood insiders and press alike won’t be getting an early view of the series — either through physical media or digital — until the general public does.
This could be HBO’s response to the piracy fiasco that the network and show endured last year. The first four episodes of the fifth season appeared on piracy networks a full day before the first episode premiered on HBO. This led to the highest all-time TV piracy record for a show that was already heavily pirated. The episodes were downloaded 3.22 million times in the 24 hours since it became available.
The move could also protect fans from potential spoilers in the early episodes — specifically those revolving around the highly speculated-over fate of Jon Snow.
“It’s painful for Dan (Weiss) and David (Benioff) [when leaks happen],” Lombardo said. “When you have press copies, inevitably friends ask, ‘Can I see your copy?’ There are things that happen. We talked about the upsides and downsides. Some of the press are fans who might be disappointed, but they’ll understand.”
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